One sperm donor’s sperm has been used in 74 successful procedures.
To offset law-school expenses, Ben Seisler spent three years donating sperm to a Virginia sperm bank. He recently learned that his donations have produced 74 children - so far, according to Reuters.
On the reality show Style Exposed: Sperm Donor we learn that while Seisler donated anonymously, he later discovered the Donor Sibling Registry, a website created to help donor-children find their biological fathers and half-siblings. After posting his contact information and "donor number" at the DSR, he began receiving emails from mothers who had bought and used his sperm.
"I want to be available to these families," Seisler, now a Boston lawyer, says on the reality show. "I'm kind of curious as to what are these kids like."
When a friend asks whether he plans to attend 74 birthday parties every year, Seisler demurs. "They're not my kids," he says.
The New York Times reported recently on a man whose donated sperm has produced 150 children, along with other donors who, thanks to data revealed by the DSR and similar sites, have "fathered" 50 or more.
The locality and frequency of the use of one donor’s sperm is problematic: There’s the very remote possibility of half-siblings somehow meeting up, unaware of their common ancestry, and having a relationship. Not only that, but the gene pool is becoming shallower as a result, potentially affecting certain diseases and conditions which are passed on through the father’s genes.
This has raised the possibility that a donor’s sperm may be limited to fewer procedural uses- after successfully ‘fathering’, say, five children, his sperm would no longer be made available.
The “super-spawn” stories are as a result of the increase in popularity in the use of donor sperm as a means of reducing the risks involved in seeking a partner, and also as a means of selecting desirable attributes - some sperm banks have catalogues where you can choose hair and eye colour and even the exam scores of the donor.
Do these kids have anything to do with their donor dads? Obviously, the mothers chose to conceive using this method, with no intention of having the donor pop around for coffee and a catch-up.
What do you think? Should a sperm donor’s sperm be used to generate multiple pregnancies?